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Ryan Zhu

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Ken Robinson Primary School

Another fantastic talk on education from Ken Robinson.

Let's start his education revolution TODAY.

If we were to open the Ken Robinson Primary School, a school that champions the principles Ken is proposing, how would the school look? What features would it have? Let's work together to make this school a reality starting today here on TED.

Topics: education school

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    May 11 2013: Melissa Twisdale points us in a promising direction. Her comment:

    If you get the chance, read the new book by Deborah Kenny, Born to Rise. She is the CEO and founder of the Harlem Village Academies. If was founded and flourishes based on this model. It is a charter school system. She says that her business plan was that, "I have no business plan." She stated that her teachers would create the model on which her schools would be built.
    • May 11 2013: Ryan, her statement is both incredibly powerful and the recipe for disaster at the same time.

      With the right group of teachers, you have an incredible program that would be built. With the wrong group of teachers, you have a train wreck of epic proportions ready to happen.

      Now, by the "right group" of teachers, I mean more than highly motivated, highly educated, and passionate about their profession. I am also talking about, works well together, clicks, agrees on a common purpose, bases their plans in solid research, clearly defines their outcomes, set clear and attainable targets, and truly believes in what they are doing then gets behind it 100%. If those things don't exist, the program begins to break down, especially when you say "figure it out". I have observed teachers, that are incredibly good at what they do, not agree on what it is they are trying to do and not be as successful as they could be.

      If you are going to undertake a project of this magnitude, at any level, you have to have a clear vision yourself first, then hire the right people to do the job. And quite frankly, it may be less about resume and more about character at that point.

      Just an observation from the trenches.
      • May 14 2013: Pride stands in the way, because the system demands it. Two teachers would soon enough resent one another, if they are both in the same class. "Familiarity breeds contempt." Teachers should be moderators. Children should learn by teaching, with moderators guiding them. That way teachers would not be challenged to defend their pride and students would not be resentful towards the moderators.
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      May 11 2013: What Everett writes here is important. There are highly effective teachers who teach with love, flair, high energy, and great competency. BUT there are also teachers who do not know their subject well and enjoy teaching in large part because they can talk to a captive audience, tell kids what to do, and then judge them.

      To be fair, part of the reason some states and Districts have gotten into their dysfunctional strict top-down patterns is that they are exasperated with the tremendous variation in the quality of what different teachers deliver and what students get. They are quite willing to sacrifice the outstanding if only they can reduce or eliminate the absolute disasters. It is not deliberate rejection of the idea of excellence but more a willingness to sacrifice it if there is prospect of eradicating the absolute disasters. In my opinion the fallacy in this part of the calculation is that the sacrifice of excellence does little or nothing to help with the disasters!

      The typical strategy is a very blunt instrument, the opposite of those medical or surgical operations that zoom in precisely to the problem spot and deal with it. Purely by way of metaphor, the stranglehold approach is like recognizing there are some delinquents or trouble makers in the city and responding by putting the whole population of the city in jail.

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